Monday, 22 August 2011

Silk chiffon is the work of the devil

This week I was trying to make a canopy for the little girl's bed.  I found a picture online of a really floaty sheer canopy, and I was trying to think what would work as a scale fabric.  I had the idea of buying a 100% silk chiffon scarf on Ebay, in palest pink.  When it came I was really pleased, as it was just what I had in my mind's eye.

I did a couple of tests on it to see whether Fraycheck or Tacky glue would be better for finishing the edges.  At this point I began to get some inkling of a) how much it frays and b) how unstable it is, biasing at random. 

Fraycheck seemed the marginally better choice, so I measured the bed and drew a rectangle on some paper, and taped the silk around a glass shelf so that I could trace the pencil outline with Fraycheck onto the fabric.

Of course, when I removed the silk in order to cut out the rectangle, it kept stretching and moving all over the place.

I looked in my bits box for something to use as a canopy, and found this which is probably an old napkin ring.

I cut it with wire-cutting pliers and bent it into a 'D' shape.  Then I sprayed it with white primer, and then painted it pink.

The plan for the next step was to fold over a pelmet at the top of the chiffon rectangles, gather them, and stitch them with tiny stitches using silk thread (so almost invisible) to the inside of the metal canopy.  This is when I realised that silk chiffon is the work of the devil. 

It catches on everything: the metal canopy, the table, the needle, my fingers, my clothing, and if you so much as look at it sideways then it frays.  By dint of holding my breath and trying to touch the actual fabric as little as possible, I got as far as in the picture.

Then I gathered up the side curtains, and sewed some of the scarf's original rolled hem as tiebacks, and a bit of gathered chiffon as a rosette at the top centre.

Then I debated what was the best way to stick the canopy into the room.  I've gone with solvent-based adhesive, applying a thin layer to both surfaces and letting it set for five minutes, then sticking it into the room.  I'm still trying to get the chiffon to hang naturally and to make the tiebacks look tidier, but after struggling with it for a while I decided to take a breather.


  1. It came out darling! I love how whimsical this little girl room is!

  2. It looks beautiful - well worth all that effort. Silk can be a pain but it does look lovely. Judith x

  3. It may have been the work of the devil, but it looks heavenly to me!

  4. Es precioso, pero la seda es complicada de manejar,felicidades¡¡¡

  5. that looks great! how about a couple small hooks plus quick grip or other adhesive? what a great room this is!

  6. It's beautiful, and so feminine.


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